Air Force Badge
  • Name: Dale Hietala
  • Location of Birth: Minnesota
  • Date of Birth: 1963
  • Date of Death:
  • Parents: Harvey and Esther Hietala
  • High School and Class: 1981 - Grand Rapids Senior High School, Grand Rapids, Minnesota
  • College: 1986 - University of Illinois - Urbana/Champaign
  • Highest Rank: CAPT (Captain)
  • Branch: Air Force
  • Other Branch:
  • Date Sworn In: December 23, 1985
  • Place Sworn In: Champaign, Illinois
  • Date of Discharge: August 31, 1996
  • Place of Discharge: Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Units and Locations:
    Start Date End Date Unit(s) and Location(s) Served
    May, 1986 August, 1991 3rd Space Operations Squadron, Falcon Air Force Station, Colorado
    August, 1991 July, 1994 Space Defense Operations Center, Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Colorado
    July, 1994 July, 1995 13th Space Warning Squadron, Clear Air Force Station, Alaska
    July, 1995 August, 1996 Headquarters Air Force Space Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado
  • Military Awards:

  • Military Highlights:
    The first five years of my career were spent in satellite command and control--keeping communication satellites in their proper orbit to provide strategic and tactical communications systems functional across the globe. Then it was off to Cheyenne Mountain--a facility built deep in the rock near Colorado Springs, Colorado. This facility was built in the 1960's, about 1/2 mile into the granite. Buildings were kept on giant springs and could be protected by large blast doors, approximately 3 feet thick, to insulate against an indirect nuclear blast. My final operational assignment was at Clear Air Force Station, Alaska during one of the last years the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS) radar was operational. This site provides ballistic missile warning for the North American continent for North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), whose command center was in Cheyenne Mountain.

  • Wars Involved:
    Desert Storm

  • MIA / POW:

  • Civilian Life:
    I have been an engineer for various defense contract firms, primarily working with satellite command and control systems.

  • Tribal Affiliation(s):